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Biodiversity

AES operates in accordance with all environmental laws and regulations. Our operating businesses, development and construction sites address biodiversity issues under the AES Environmental Management System (EMS) framework. We monitor and declare relevant biodiversity Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) including water monitoring and emissions.

In the UK & Ireland, we have made a significant commitment and contribution to protecting and enhancing biodiversity on our sites, and have been externally recognised as a company that sets an ambitious agenda for corporate biodiversity behaviours. Taking positive action in this area has sent a clear message to staff, customers and neighbours that AES takes responsibility for its impact locally. We have been supporting environmental education programmes, delivered with our charity partner Ulster Wildlife, which spread this message to local school children and community groups. 

Through our ‘Energy in Nature’ sessions with local primary schools, hundreds of children have learned about sustainable energy use in the future. AES has also supported the development and delivery of an Environmental Leadership Programme with Secondary Schools in the vicinity of Kilroot and Ballylumford stations.

 
Developing a world-class corporate biodiversity programme

Our generating sites in Northern Ireland include biodiversity-rich land holdings which we manage in an environmentally conscious manner, with the guidance of Ulster Wildlife.

Following the discovery of endangered bee orchids at our Ballylumford Power Station, AES stepped up our actions to protect and enhance local wildlife within our grounds. We commissioned biodiversity audits of our sites and reports to outline the findings and recommendations for conserving and encouraging biodiversity, without compromising the safe and efficient management of the generating assets. 

In 2017, we launched our Biodiversity Action Plan, which outlines AES’ environmental conservation strategy for the next 5 years. We have taken steps to encourage Northern Ireland protected and priority species including Irish hares, barn owls, sand martins, black guillemots, cowslips and of course, the bee orchid. We have also included actions to protect a range of habitats present on our sites, such as species-rich grassland, woodland and coastal areas.

These recommendations are implemented by the Ballylumford and Kilroot Power Stations’ Green Teams – groups of AES people who coordinate activities including wildflower planting, wildlife garden building, tree and hedgerow planting, building bat and bird boxes, and beach cleans. 

The Green Teams have been supported since 2015 by a Biodiversity Internship. This paid, full-time graduate position is a commitment to drive corporate innovation in biodiversity on AES sites and in our local communities.

In recognition of AES’ leading position in protecting and enhancing local wildlife and habitats, in June 2017 AES received the Business and Biodiversity Charter at Platinum level from Business in the Community.

To celebrate ten years of partnership with Ulster Wildlife in September 2015, we published a pocket sized Wildlife Identification Guide. The ID Guide helps AES people and visitors to identify some of the more notable plants and animals found at AES sites in Northern Ireland. 

AES Wildlife Identification Guide